The market sold a vast array of clothing and other produce (credit: Dagenham Sunday Market)
Charfleets Markets, the company which operates the market, in River Road, Barking, says it has explored “every possible option” but will be unable to comply with social distancing rules that dictate people must stay two metres away from each other.
Thousands of people attend the market each week, and Charfleets estimates it would have to reduce to number of traders by 40 per cent to comply with social distancing requirements.
In a letter to traders, Charlfeets said: “It has become clear the Dagenham Sunday Market, in its present form, does not allow social distancing to be maintained.
“Taking into account that we do have an unusually high number of visitors for a market … to comply with social distancing, we would need to create extremely wide pedestrian walkways, removing complete aisles of stalls and containers.”
The letter went on to say: “It is simply not viable to open a smaller and less attractive market with the huge costs involved in both the running and the reconfiguration of the layout.
“We now know that waiting for social distancing to end is not an option and we are aware traders need to plan their future, so a decision is needed.”
Charfleets called the closure “without doubt, the most devastating news we have had to deliver in 34 years of trading,” and thanked their stallholders.
Dagenham Market had been open since 2002 and was popular with people hoping to pick up a fashion bargain, including many celebrities such as Stacey Solomon and TOWIE stars including Georgia Kousoulou.
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Last year the BBC made a documentary about the market called Good Morning Dagenham.
Social media users were quick to share their disappointment at the news.
Dagenham market permanently closed. 2020 is over
— lana (@lanawalsh_) June 3, 2020
Can’t believe Dagenham Market has been permanently closed ??
— HAYLEY HAMMERSLEY ? (@h_hammersleyxox) June 3, 2020
Dagenham market being shut down is the tip of ice berg for 2020 ?
— NPH (@niamhhart_) June 3, 2020
This Dagenham market news has hit me
— adam (@AdBird96) June 3, 2020
Dagenham market just announced its permanently closing ? 2020 is honestly the worst year
— annie xxx (@annieoneill__) June 3, 2020
I’m devastated that Dagenham Market is closing permanently ?
— ? (@jthxrne) June 3, 2020
Dagenham market is permanently closed. Like shut. Finished. No more early Sunday mornings buying stuff I don’t need ???
— Madison Baldock (@madisonbaldock) June 3, 2020
Dagenham market has ceased trading permanently and I feel like a piece of my chavvy childhood just died with it.
— Abbie Stella Boyd (@AbbieGotBoyd) June 3, 2020
Are you a trader at Dagenham Market? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d be happy to speak to one of our reporters about the closure.
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